The State will act as a plaintiff in a case investigating whether former president Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) broke the law in securing a record US$57-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) back in 2018.
In a decree published at the tail-end of last week, President Alberto Fernandez instructed National Treasury Attorney Carlos Zannini to act as a plaintiff on behalf of the State in the case, which will probe whether Macri committed public fraud and fiscal damage to the nation in agreeing to the loan, the IMF’s largest-ever credit-line to a member state.
"Prosecutors representing the State as the claimant are ordered to pursue the case, 'Mauricio Macri and others, for fraud against state bodies' ... and to facilitate the advancement of the criminal process in order to determine those responsible for the crime," the decree read.
In addition to Macri, former economy Minister Nicolás Dujovne and ex-Central Bank governors Federico Sturzenegger, Luis Caputo and Guido Sanleris are also named in the suit.
According to the decree, Zannini has been instructed to "initiate the actions leading to the recovery of possible damages and losses arising from the denounced events."
Given "the economic relevance of the loan analyzed, it merits the adoption of urgent measures aimed at evaluating, based on the pertinent technical and advisory reports, the possible existence of fiscal damage as a consequence of the inappropriate use of funds," the decree continues.
Argentina has received US$44 billion from the credit-line agreed in 2018 during a currency crisis. Fernández, upon taking office in December 2019, rejected the final installments and his government is currently in talks over a restructuring of the intended repayment schedule.
The Fernández administration is seeking to agree a new financing programme with the IMF of more than 10 years, preferably with a four-year grace period.
Opposition leaders have criticised the probe against Macri for being politically driven.